MEng Materials Science and Engineering with Textiles Technology / Course details

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Performance Polymers, Fibres and Textiles

Course unit fact file
Unit code MATS24112
Credit rating 10
Unit level Level 5
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Offered by Department of Materials
Available as a free choice unit? No


Lecture topics include:


Fibre properties

Physical and chemical modifications of bires for different applications


Colour specification


The unit aims to:

  • Categorize the different polymers, fibres and textiles classes;
  • Illustrate an understanding of why certain polymer, fibre and textile with specific chemical, thermal and mechanical properties are used for selected applications;
  • Describe aspects of colour communication, and describe the necessity for, and scientific basis of, colour communication systems;
  • Design new products, including specific polymers, textiles and functional fabrics via appropriate functional chemicals, finishing or colouration.


Learning outcomes

A greater depth of the learning outcomes will be covered in the following sections:

  • Knowledge and understanding
  • Intellectual skills
  • Practical skills
  • Transferable skills and personal qualities

Teaching and learning methods

Lectures, practical laboratory sessions, recommended textbooks, web resources, past exam papers, electronic supporting information (Blackboard), peer-assisted study sessions (PASS).


Knowledge and understanding

Interpret the differences and defining properties of the major classes of polymers.
Interpret the structure-property-performance relationships of a range of polymers.
Describe how the chemical, thermal and mechanical properties of polymers influence their selection for applications.
Explain the effects of fillers and fibre reinforcements on polymers.
Explain the physical properties required for a typical textile fibre and the production and properties of the most important textile fibres.
Show how man-made fibres can be tailored for specific uses.
Define the performances of constructed textiles.
Tell the 1  -  Knowledge and understanding of the principles of coloration of natural and synthetic fibres.
Describe the likely application conditions, characteristics and performance profile of the most common dye classes for natural and synthetic fibres.
Memorize 1  -  Knowledge and understanding of the fundamentals of colour measurement and communication in textiles.

Intellectual skills

Identify the appropriate polymers for specific applications.
Apply simple models to the mechanical properties of polymers.
Explain and relate how the physical properties of polymers, fibres and textiles depend upon their molecular structures.
Appraise the technical aspects of textile production, and be able to communicate this topic with a degree of effectiveness with practitioners in the textile supply chain.
Be able to relate the coloration of textiles with the chemical structure of dyes and common textile polymers.
Develop a logical approach to problem-solving technical issues in the coloration process.
Describe aspects of colour communication, and describe the necessity for, and scientific basis of, colour communication systems.

Practical skills

Develop awareness of practical aspects associated with performing tests to measure polymer mechanical properties 
Analyse the results from materials testing experiments to measure physical properties of different polymers.
Design specific polymers, textiles and functional fabrics via appropriate functional chemicals, finishing or coloration.
Interpret experimental investigations of textile properties.
Ability to identify and employ appropriate sources of information.

Transferable skills and personal qualities

Solve problems utilising appropriate numerical skills and algebraic methods.
Assess results critically and Communicate results reliably and effectively.
Work effectively in a group to solve problems.
Compose simple technical reports on laboratory tests.
Develop collaboration with all practitioners in the polymer and textile industry, with a degree of effectiveness.

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Written exam 70%
Written assignment (inc essay) 30%

Feedback methods

Verbal and written

Recommended reading

Note : From Unit Spec (Section 7 – Indicative Reading)

  • Introduction to Polymers, R.J. Young and P.A. Lovell,3rd Edition, CRC Press, 2011
  • Introduction to physical polymer science, L.H. Sperling, 4th Edition, 2006.
  • “Textile Science” K.L. Hatch, 1993
  • “Basic principles of textile coloration” A.D. Broadbent, 2001
  •  “Fundamentals and practices in coloration of textiles” J.N. Chakraborty, 2010


Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 20
Independent study hours
Independent study 80

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Xuqing Liu Unit coordinator

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